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Saving Private Ryan

Corrected entry: When Miller arrives at the bottom of the hill, under the German machine gun, there's a radioman to his left. This soldier gets his face shot off, but in a later beach scene, he appears as a different wounded soldier.

Correction: I can't confirm that. In which scene?

Corrected entry: When Caparzo gets shot you hear a dissonant chord on the piano instantly after the shot before he lands on it to create the rest. The only explanation for the sound would be the bullet deflected into the piano but that would only create two notes at most.

Correction: This is one possibility, but the dissonant chord could also be the result of wood fragmentation from the piano itself striking additional strings.

Corrected entry: The final battle takes place on June 13 (we know this from the date on Captain Miller's tombstone) against the 2nd SS Panzer Division. The 2nd SS was not yet in Normandy on June 13.

Correction: The SS arrived in Normandy on the 7th June. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waffen-SS#Normandy.

Corrected entry: Upham is referred to throughout the film as a Corporal. He is actually a Technician 5th Grade, indicated by the 'T' beneath his stripes. The same pay grade, but without the NCO rank. This doesn't stand for "Translater" as some people have argued - "Technician" was a term applied to anyone with a special skill - the US Army now uses "Specialist" instead to avoid confusion.

Correction: Technician Fifth Grade (abbreviated as T/5 or TEC 5) was a United States Army technician rank during World War II. Those who held this rank were addressed as Corporal. The wearers of the rank were often called "Tech Corporal.".

Corrected entry: When the Americans are preparing the final ambush in Ramelle, there is a part with Miller explaining to a soldier and Ryan how the bridge has to be blown, then the soldier mentions that the last man to do it must run away because they are going to use a 30-second delay fuse. But at the very end, Miller tries to detonate the explosives with a electrical switch.

Correction: The fuse is coiled on the electrical switch. The electrical switch creates an electric charge that LIGHTS the fuse without the need of matches or lighters.

Corrected entry: When Mellish's gun gets jammed he doesn't fix his gun or do anything to it. When the Germans try to enter the room Mellish shoots another shot.

Correction: Mellish's gun does jam, but the soldier who shoots the German coming up the stairs is the airborne soldier.

Corrected entry: The beach in the movie is just too small in comparison to the historical Omaha Beach. When visiting it today, Omaha Beach does look much smaller because houses and a road were built, halving the original beach. But in 1944, the beach was miles in length. Because the beach is so much smaller in the movie, you can see the German machine-gunners and the US soldiers they are shooting at in the same frame. And because they are shooting from such a small distance, they can fire in long, wild bursts. So it is understandable why the beach was so small in the movie: because of artistic license. Most of the US soldiers that were killed on Omaha Beach never even saw their enemy because of the distance.

Correction: This entry corrects itself: artistic license. This is decent trivia, but it's not a movie mistake.

Phixius

Corrected entry: The whole "Omaha Beach Attack" takes about 25 minutes in real-time in the film. The director does not use any visual or audio cues to indicate that more time (minutes, hours) passes between different shots. There should have been fades to black or whatever and sound fading in and out to indicate the passing of time. Historically, the assault on Omaha Beach lasted the entire morning, into the afternoon. The rushed battle in this movie, while engrossing and spectacular, does not do proper justice to the ordeal that the men on Omaha Beach lived through. While flawed in many other respects, the movie "The Longest Day" does indicate that it took them a long, long time to finally get off the beach.

Correction: While I must applaud your devotion to the soldiers there, this can't be considered a mistake. The director chose to compress time in order to make the movie an acceptable length. Clearly it still did justice to the battle as many WWII veterans described it as a true representation of the fighting they went through.

Corrected entry: As already stated, the stunning opening battle scenes were shot in Ireland, not France: County Wicklow's Killester Beach, to be exact.

Correction: The beach scenes were actually filmed on Curracloe Beach in County Wexford. My sister was part of the crew (hair stylist). I have been there several times.

Corrected entry: There is a part in the opening battle scene where you see a German soldier's point of view when he is firing down at the Americans, If you look closely you can see the German soldier is clearly firing in another direction than where the bullets are hitting.

Correction: There was more than one German shooting at the time.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Mellish and the other Ranger hear footsteps coming up the stairs, you hear one set of footsteps. When they call out Upham's name, the footsteps stop. When Mellish fires into the wall, you hear a body drop and blood pool by the room opening. Yet there is no body outside the room, only the 'other' German soldier firing through the wall, shooting the one Ranger in the neck and ultimately killing Mellish. The only soldier outside that room was Upham, still on the stairwell.

Correction: You never see just outside the door.

Corrected entry: In the last battle scene in the end, there is a lengthy shot of Mellish, Henderson, and Upham running to a building to cover the right flank with a machine gun. When you first see out of the hole in the wall (the one they use to fire out of) you can see in the background what looks like a Sd.Kfz.124 (tank) moving towards the right. Soon after this (right after they put the sticky bombs on the tank) there is a shot where Mellish is screaming about the flank folding, and once again you can see out of the hole and what looks like the exact same shot of the Sd.Kfz.124 moving towards the right. The tank would have had to go in reverse, and then go forward again, and there is only one of these tanks in the scene.

Correction: Actually it had been previously established by Jackson that there were 2 "Panzers" along with the 2 Tigers heading to the town. Also, before the Tiger tanks began driving down the road to attack it was said that neither of the two "Panzer" tanks took the bait.

Corrected entry: Capt. Miller and Pvt. Ryan throw the 60mm mortar rounds as grenades. This can not happen. The 60mm mortar round uses a type of propellant that is solid and looks like sliced cheese. It is placed around the outside of the lower section of the mortar round, which is also the fin area. They would need to remove the propellant first before they could hold onto the fin, which leads to the second mistake. The fin of the 60mm mortar is hollow with holes drilled through it. This is to allow the flame from the primer to reach the propellant. If a person was to hold onto the fin and hit the primer end on a piece of metal, the primer would ignite and burn your hand.

Correction: Not only is it possible to use a mortar round like this but an American Medal of Honor winner Beauford Anderson did so on Okinawa during the action that won his medal.

Corrected entry: In the opening scenes, as the soldiers are landing on the beach, their rifles are wrapped in plastic wrap. This type of plastic was not invented until the end of the 1940s and later. Water resistant "cellophanes" and wraps were a much later invention by inventors such as Saran and Reynolds.

Correction: This is incorrect. To view a picture of the actual plastic bags used to protect rifles on D-day, go here: http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=145250119.

Corrected entry: In the beginning of the film, the soldier that Miller is dragging through the water dies. But then you can see this same soldier again various times throughout the film, for example when he asks Miller where the rallying point is.

Correction: It's a different soldier. They're played by different actors, even listed separately in the credits.

Corrected entry: During certain scenes in the movie, we see Jackson switching his Weaver M73B1 sniper scope on his M1903A4 sniper rifle with a Unertl sniper scope. The problem is that the Unertl scope was used exclusively by the U.S. Marines in the Pacific Theatre on their M1903A1 sniper rifle.

Correction: The Unertal scope was also used by the German Army. There's a good chance that he could have taken the scope from a German rifle.

Corrected entry: Most viewers believe right up until the end of the movie that it is Tom Hanks character, Captain Miller, who is the old veteran in the beginning of the film crying in the French cemetary. This is because the camera shot fades from his eyes to Captain Miller's eyes in the scene just before the Normandy invasion. If you look very closely though you will see a very small "Screaming Eagle" pin on the old mans jacket indicating he is a paratrooper from the 101st Airborne Division. Captain Miller was a ranger.

Correction: It's impossible to say what "most movie viewers" believe. There's no way of knowing what the director had in mind for that shot, and I (for one) knew it was Matt Damon as soon as I saw him.

Corrected entry: On the beach when Miller is talking to the wounded man, the Navy beach Patrol tell him, "I've got to clear these obstacles, etc." In one shot, he removes the fuse from behind his ear. A second later it still behind his ear.

Correction: In that scene the Navy beach Patrol is dragging two fuses. That's why it seems like a mistake. Actually you can see him setting the first fuse before taking the second.

Corrected entry: Upham halts a fleeing Steamboat Willie and five other Germans. Just before Willie says "Upham" (Willie's last word before getting shot), note that the German second from the left is smiling. Hardly a situation where you might expect any of them to be amused.

Correction: He's not amused. He's delirious with fear. Facing your death can do that.

Phixius

Corrected entry: In the scene in the French village after the soldier attempting to rescue the girl is shot, where the German marksman is shown being shot through the scope is an impossibility. Modern higher powered rifles are unable to pierce a scope, let alone pierce directly through the scope and through the German's head. Also, a marksman on a battlefield, under stress, would never be able to place such an accurate shot. Sources: Mythbusters.

Correction: Many veterans mention such a shot being taken in memoirs written after the war. First-hand accounts by veterans would seem more definitive than a TV show that can only attempt to simulate a given situation. Further, its only impossible with a modern scope, the Mythbusters revisited the myth and found that it is in fact plausible with a period scope.

Tailkinker

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Quotes

Private Reiben: You wouldn't shoot the kraut and now you're gonna shoot me?
Sergeant Horvath: He's better than you.

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Mistakes

In the scene where the medic gets shot, watch the shot where Upham brings the bags up to the injured medic. The next shot there is some fog which then reveals the injured medic. In this shot, watch carefully as the cast rips away the medic's shirt. If you look near the neck, you can see the fake stomach vest he is wearing for a split second - when the actor realizes he ripped too far up, he quickly covers it back up.

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Trivia

The story James Ryan tells Miller, about his brothers in the barn with Alice Jardin, was not in the script. Matt Damon ad-libbed it and Spielberg decided to leave it in the final film.

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